Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Christa-Cathey

Judy Christa-Cathey

VP Global Brand Marketing Hampton Hotels & Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Worldwide

Judy Christa-Cathey is the Vice President, Global Brand Marketing, Hampton Hotels and Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Worldwide. She is responsible for the development and execution of the Hampton hotels and Hilton Garden Inn global branding strategies including brand positioning, advertising, interactive relationship strategies, promotions and public relations. Ms. Christa-Cathey also co-created the Hampton Save-A-Landmark community program which was awarded a US Presidential Award for Preservation- the first time a hotel was ever given this recognition and an award from the Smithsonian museum for the program. Her prior travel industry experience includes market planning, direct marketing, promotions and public relations with Southwest Airlines. She was Vice President of Marketing for Adventure Tours USA (an international charter and tour operator), and Vice President/Account Executive for Roth Graham, a leading travel industry and targeted marketing agency. Ms. Christa-Cathey was recently named one of HSMAI's top 25 extraordinary minds in marketing in 2011. This honor is awarded to the best sales and marketing professionals in the hospitality, travel and tourism industries and recipients are judged on creativity and innovation; cutting edge sales or marketing campaigns; triumph in challenging situations; and sales efforts that resulted in dramatic gains. Under her leadership, both Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Hotels have grown exponentially, both domestically and internationally, throughout her tenure. Ms. Christa-Cathey received her MBA from the University of Dallas and BA in communications from Western Illinois University. She is also on the board of directors for The Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis (WFGM) and was Co-Chair for the 2008 National Civil Rights Museum Freedom Awards, honoring Al Gore and Diane Nash.

Ms. Christa-Cathey can be contacted at 901-374-5954 or judy.christa-cathey@hilton.com

Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.